Got Just A Bit Of Revenge - Decks & Fencing - Contractor Talk

Got Just A Bit Of Revenge

 
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:01 PM   #1
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Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


I am not sure it should be called revenge, but it sorta feels like it.
Back in May, I gave a quote for a deck to a customer who decided they wanted a permit. Things have changed here and 2 years ago, the government decided that construction designers(including decks) must be government certified. The course is long and expensive, so I didn't bother. We just hire a designer and have him do the plans, then submit.

I also quoted the next door neighbour, who provided his own design. He is an architect.
I offered them a 5% discount if I got both decks.
The first couple hired me, and we applied for a permit. For various reasons(zoning, and an engineering detail the municipality wanted that I'd never seen before), it took till September to get the permit.
We just finished, and it passed. The insepctor wanted to know if I did the deck next door (the homeowner hired another, cheaper company). I told him no. He wanted to know who, because the deck was nowhere near code. The railing was all wrong, the footings for the upper deck (9 ft above grade) were 4x4's 14 feet apart, with 2-2x8's for the beam, set on 8" sonos, the steps had incorrect and uneven rises, etc. Also, a lot of what I had included wasn't done. (Skirting, ground cover, etc)
That neighbour's neighbour ALSO built a deck. Out of untreated white Spruce! Talk about durability. The workmanship of the guy they hired wasn't bad, but the front had a FOUR FOOT cantilever. 4x4 posts, set right into the ground.
A sunburst style of rails (not legal here). 10" stair rise. Incorrect attachment to the house.
The NEXT deck along, although it looked great, ALSO didn't meet code. This was a big cedar deck, probably $15,000 or more. The entire railing will have to be replaced, at the least.

All three decks are just attached to the brick veneer with just 4" lag bolts. Code calls for the wall plate to be attached through the brick to the rim joist. So, all 3 may have to be pulled off to put in proper carriage bolts. HA!
Anyway, the inspector, with only subtle urging from me, looked at all 3. Then he decided to audit the entire street. (probably 20 or more decks without permits! )
Here in Ontario, there's no real repercussions if you do a deck without a permit, if it's done right. As long as the deck structure is correct, and the beams, joists, footings and railings are correct, the inspectors will pass it. There are no fines. Just the cost of a permit. In several municipalities, the inspectors know me, and they almost automatically pass my stuff.
If the deck isn't right, I've seen them order the whole thing to come down.
And of course the installers deny all responsibility.
Just my little feel good for the day.
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Last edited by Fence & Deck; 10-20-2008 at 03:26 PM. Reason: spelling.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


How sweet it is.






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Old 10-20-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


can you send your inspectors down here to train our's on how to do their job? please?!?!?
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Wooooooooooooooooooooo! Definitely followup with the progress of what becomes of this. Glad to hear they care to make'em do it right!
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Good for the inspector to use his powers to inspect all un permitted work in that neighbirhood. Well looks like you have some more decks to fix there in the coming months!
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Its the little things,makes it almost worthwhile. J.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Always love hearing a story like this where things work out for the guy who plays by the rules.

Thinking of the business aspect....You plan on rebuilding any of those 20 decks? Could be some money to be made.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Quote:
Originally Posted by BKFranks View Post
Always love hearing a story like this where things work out for the guy who plays by the rules.

Thinking of the business aspect....You plan on rebuilding any of those 20 decks? Could be some money to be made.
Not if they found out who dropped the dime.....
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


I just got done framing a an addition on a deck a 8'x56' on one side of the house and a 9'x36' on the other side of the house. I asked the inspector to come by and take a peek before laying the decking and applying the facia. He asked me on the phone if I had concerns about my framing and I answered no, but if you want to see the carriage bolts you better get here before I cover them up (I countersink and hide them behind my carriar beams) He walked around the area, before even knew he was there and the only question he asked if I had put a flashing tape under the aluminum flashing.....I says I have ice and water 6" up the wall and hanging 2" over the ledger and lifted a lip to show him. All he had to say was very nice job and away he goes. Another crew is building a deck right up the road and they came down to ask if he gave me a hard time. I guess he left them a nice laundry list....
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Di View Post
Not if they found out who dropped the dime.....
Good point. Can I help it if my properly built and inspected deck is right next to one that isn't? The inspector isn't blind.

Besides, I've learned over the years: rebuilding is more expensive than all new construction.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


You should have given the inspector a few of your business cards to hand out.





.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:27 AM   #12
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


That's great to hear Stone.

Sounds like a perfect time to do a mailer or two in that neighborhood.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:38 AM   #13
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


in Ontario the reason for a BCIN number is primarily for legal liability and insurance. It not only provides an out for the municipality but forces the "designer" to be liable for life. A new industry has popped up where code qualified designers charge a fee to apply their stamp. The snail like pace for permits can be justified by merely rejecting the drawings and then the bureaucrat grabs his sandwich and Timmies coffee, goes and hides for an hour or two and reads his Cupe union manual
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:37 AM   #14
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Chalk one up for the good guys!
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:23 AM   #15
 
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Re: Got Just A Bit Of Revenge


Too funny! Good reason for the customer to NOT always go with the cheapest guy, unfortunately, it is hard to convince customers of this!

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